A Death in the Coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by capebird, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. capebird

    capebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    162
    0
    102
    Apr 13, 2011
    Cape Cod
    I have (did have) 5 barred rocks who are about 13 weeks old. I came out to the coop
    this morning to find one of the hens dead on the coop floor with blood splattered about
    on the roost and wall. I can only assume another hen pecked the dead one.
    My coop is about 20 square feet so figuring 4 square feet per bird,
    I don't think they were pressed for living space.

    Pretty upsetting.

    My question is ..... as the hens get older (and more powerful with what they can do with
    their beaks).... do they tend to get more aggressive with one another....The one that was killed
    was smaller than the others. Is there anything I should do, precautions I should be aware of
    to prevent something like this happening again....
    Well.... thanks for the help.

    John
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    458
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'm so sorry.

    I am wondering whether this could be ILT (infectious laryngotracheitis.) They will certainly peck a dead bird, but you wouldn't usually see splatter like that. Also, if they were pecking each other badly, you should have some warning before death -- spots bare of feathers, wounds on combs or hind ends, etc.

    Read here and see if you see any other symptoms of ILT:

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
  3. capebird

    capebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    162
    0
    102
    Apr 13, 2011
    Cape Cod
    thanks for the reply.

    There were no warning signs that I could see.... no bare spots or open wounds on this bird
    prior to its death. I looked at the carcass and couldn't even find the open wound that
    caused the blood. All the birds (including the one that died) were looking and acting
    fine. I'll keep an eye on them.
     
  4. Keltara

    Keltara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh John. That is just awful. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you but I don't. I hope this doesn't happen again with your girls. [​IMG]

    Kelly
    Country Chronicles Blog
     
  5. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    5,493
    60
    268
    Mar 28, 2011
    MN
    I'm very sorry for your loss.[​IMG]
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    66,432
    16,903
    836
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Are you sure that this was not the work of a predator?
     
  7. capebird

    capebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    162
    0
    102
    Apr 13, 2011
    Cape Cod
    no predator..... all the other hens are fine. And, I'd say I'm confident
    my coop is predator proof. No signs of entry and it's built like fort knox.

    I buried the dead hen... but maybe I'll dig it up and look further for wounds
    or get more of an idea how it died. When I first discovered it... I looked over the
    hen but I was kinda freaked by it and upset.... so I buried it right away.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by